Christmas came early for a number of families who are new to Winnipeg.

KidBridge hosted their first-ever Toys and Clothing Party, that offered free toys, clothing and household items to immigrant families who are new to Canada.

The group typically hosts English-language sessions once a week for mothers and children. Just a few weeks ago the group put a call out for donations.

“A tidal wave of donations came in of clothing and toys and household items,” said Lorelle Perry, the director of KidBridge.

Hundreds of families turned up to Calvary Temple Saturday afternoon to pick out items.

“People seemed pretty happy as they left. Bags that were just stuffed full and some kids had to walk home cause their moms had their strollers just piled up with toys and clothing,” said Perry.

The group got an impressive array of donations, Perry said, including 75 hand-sewn pillowcases.

“We live in a country of abundance we just collect and collect and collect and it doesn’t take long to comb through your stuff and just say, ‘Do I really need this?’ ” said Perry.

Perry said often newcomer families arrive with just a suitcase, and events like these make a big difference.

“A day like this they can fill a few bags and just make their house more like a home,” said Perry.

KidBridge is funded in part by Canada’s department of immigration and multiculturalism.